I have a terrible memory for birthdays, anniversaries, dates and other inconvenient pieces of data like passwords.
Except birthdays aren’t inconvenient pieces of data, at least not the once a year when they roll around. If you forget and important date like your kid’s birthday you’re going to feel terrible, and rightly so. Passwords are pretty important too.
So how do you remember dates and passwords?
There are automatic tools for remembering:
- Plug birthdays etc. into your Outlook calendar at work
- Set reminders on the calendar on your phone
- Write them in an old-school paper calendar you keep on your desk
But what happens when you’re away, you lose your phone, or get asked at a party? If you don’t know the year your wife was born you’re going to look insensitive and you may well be sleeping on the couch.
Here’s my fool-proof and oh-so-simple tip for how to remember important birthdays and dates:
Incorporate them into your Passwords
Passwords are the one piece of data that we all keep in our heads, ready at a moments notice.
“What better way to reinforce your memory of a date than to have to type it into your computer every day?”
And the real beauty is that this can help make your passwords more memorable across multiple devices – and they almost always pass those rigorous password safety requirements like “Passwords must contain at least 8 letter, CAPS and lowercase, numbers, letters and at least one symbol”.
Tips for Safety
You still have to surround the password with enough junk that somebody who knows you can’t guess it.
Example Easy to Remember Passwords
You might choose formats like these:
- [MIDDLE NAME][DATE OF BIRTH]!@#
- %[FIRST NAME][DATE OF BIRTH][MIDDLE INITIAL]&
Armed with a formula you can have a whole family of memorable passwords for all of your access needs:
- Email – it’s your wife: %Piper09-22-79B&
- Computer – it’s your son: %George05-01-01L&
- Bank Account – it’s your mother: %Lori03-28-50F&
Just keep your format to yourself and your passwords should be safe. You’ll even have a few helpful reminders as the date draws near.